Back to All Events

Alex Vitale (Canceled)

*** This event has been cancelled for the time being. If we’re able to reschedule, we will let you know. ***

Image_spreads_vitale.jpg

Alex S. Vitale
author of the book The End of Policing


The problem is not overpolicing, it is policing itself

Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.

This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to a decrease in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.


Alex S. Vitale is Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College and a Visiting Professor at London Southbank University. He has spent the last 25 years writing about policing and consults both police departments and human rights organizations internationally. He also serves on the New York State Advisory Committee of the US Commission on Civil Rights. Prof. Vitale is the author of City of Disorder: How the Quality of Life Campaign Transformed New York Politics. His academic writings on policing have appeared in Policing and Society, Police Practice and Research, Mobilization, andContemporary Sociology. He is also a frequent essayist, whose writings have appeared in The New York Times, New York Daily News, The Nation, Vice News, Jacobin, and USA Today.

Earlier Event: October 2
Jennifer Croft
Later Event: October 15
Book Club Meeting: Nothing But Dust